Developmental Curriculum

MMS Process

Therapeutic approach: a 4 phase process

Our emotional growth program requires your daughter’s active participation in her journey to discover identity and reach true potential.  We believe that adolescents face four primary developmental phases described as follows:


Taking Stock: The inventories

The beginning of the therapeutic journey starts with the student forming a clear picture of:

  • past and present significant events
  • circumstances
  • experiences
  • life choices and
  • behaviors. 

This is when the student takes stock, and sees relationships with people, places, and things as they really are. There is much interaction with the group and the student receives feedback on her behavior and personal choices.

The student:

  • breaks through denial and recognizes that she has serious problems. 
  • often experiences and expresses remorse at this time. 
  • begins grieving past choices and expresses the need to change her life. 
  • identifies problems related to her emotional growth and develops a personal emotional growth plan.

“I appreciate the gift of the staff’s collective and individual ability to zero in on the core issues, so that they can be addressed by the whole family and worked on.”


Turning Point: Rising to the challenge

During this time the student:

  • begins resolving personal issues;
  • develops a sense of her issues in relation to the family and the group;
  • experiments and tries different problem solving strategies and behaviors;
  • explores her personal issues within the group process and learns how to express feelings in a proactive and appropriate fashion;
  • examines, understands and applies principles of family systems and group dynamics to her life;
  • identifies positive character qualities and traits;
  • identifies and experiences positive personal interests and enjoys skill developmen;
  • sets and meets specific performance goals in relation to school, daily life skills and activities. 

This is recorded in her personal emotional growth plan.

"My daughter developed a high level of self-esteem, maturity and sense of responsibility. She arrived at Mission Mountain School as very troubled teenager and departed an independent young adult who takes responsibility for herself and meets every day with enthusiasm and hope.”

Facing the dragon

Facing the Dragon: Creating integrity to find honor

During this time the student:

  • continues the development and refinement of solutions identified in her personal emotional growth plan. 
  • starts the process of articulating who she is through continued group work, home visits and family interactions.
  • develops a sense of personal boundaries and applies them during home visits in preparation for returning to the family. 
  • experiences her personal identity within the context of the larger world. 
  • articulates a picture of what she wants her life to look like and begins planning how to get there. 
  • identifies general education or career tracks that interest her and explores options in those areas.  
  • sets academic goals.
  • develops and implements strategies to achieve those goals and experiences success.
  • begins to experience and express a desire to participate in mainstream adolescent activities.

"Mission Mountain has given my daughter the opportunity to realize her potential. I like the advocacy of the staff in regards to my daughter’s feelings and needs.”

The return

The Return: Completing successful transitions

During this time the student’s experience at Mission Mountain School is highly valued and used as a model in life planning.  She:

  • expresses appropriate apprehension and anticipation about leaving to start her new life. 
  • completes the written articulation of her values and personal standards in her after care plan. 
  • identifies her bottom line behaviors and strategies for maintaining her stability and progress. 
  • transitions into her new environment and makes the necessary adjustments. 
  • finds new support groups and integrates into her new community. 
  • she experiences success in academics, sports, community service and other areas of her life, as a result of careful planning and preparation, . 
  • returns to Mission Mountain School as an alumna and validates her accomplishments through celebrating the progress of other younger students.

“I am really grateful to be able to honestly disclose about my past without judgment.  Many of the secrets I have shared were things I was planning on keeping hidden for the rest of my life.  Revealing those secrets has made me feel more clean, honest, and strong.”

MMS Diamond Anchor